I worked at company A as an intern for a year while in college. When the pandemic struck, I was furloughed as well as my entire department. So I accepted an offer with company B. I like it at company B and the pay is decent.

But now, all of a sudden, company A is back in full production and wants me back. I turned them down and they raised the salary by another 5k. So in total, they are offering me 10k salary more than I am making right now.

I don’t know what decision I will make but I am leaning towards just staying where I am. Do you think I should mention to my boss any of this? Do you think that maybe he might give me a raise to stay or at least discuss it with me? If so, how can I bring this up?

  • Thanks, those do help – mastercooler6 Sep 17 '20 at 12:28
  • You should only tell them if you think they are going to give a raise and if they refused then you can go back to A. But during that discussion you even do not need mention what A really is. They do not need to know the real name. – MOON Sep 20 '20 at 12:14

Unless you have decided to quit company B and join company A, don't mention anything to your boss. Mentioning this to your boss will likely do more harm than good.

Since you started with company B during the pandemic, you have not even been with the company for 6 months. Unless you have incredibly exceeded their initial expectations of you, your boss is unlikely to offer you a raise to stay with the company. By telling the boss about your offer he will likely lose confidence that you are truly interested in staying with the company. This means that even if you do stay with company B, you will be less likely to receive raises and promotions in the future as you may be considered a flight risk. Even worse, the company may start looking to replace you for someone they consider to be more likely to stay with the company.

  • Good point. To be honest I really think I have exceeded their expectations. We are a startup and I’m straight out of college. I have already engineered a tool that they need for the company without assistance. But even having said that I agree, I won’t say anything. – mastercooler6 Sep 17 '20 at 13:18
  • @CodyP What I would do and what could potentially be added to this answer based on your comment is that you could ask your manager what the plan/path towards raises/promotions is for you while acknowledging that you're very new. That's a conversation where you could potentially mention that there's been interest in your profile elsewhere without the risk to how you're perceived. – Lilienthal Sep 18 '20 at 10:25

To put a different spin on the answer, I think the real question here is whether you should go back to company A. The thing is, when company A had problems, you were one of the people they cut, and you had to find a new job. Company B was the company who took you in when you needed a place to work to pay your bills; company A was the one who caused that problem in the first place.

Company A has no loyalty to you. If the company has other problems (or "problems") in the future, expect that you will be one of the first people cut again, as you were this time. At company B at least, you have less reason to believe this to be true, because they haven't already done it to you once.

Tell company A to take their offer and shove it, stick with company B. It's not worth the hassle. They're offering you $10k/year more, but would you rather have $10k/year more for 6 months and then have no salary when the company decides they have "problems" again, or would you rather have a long-term salary at $10k/yr less?

  • 2
    I wouldn't expect any company to have loyalty to their employees, especially to interns. Their top priority is to be profitable, and if they have to furlough employees to do that, they will. The bigger question is which company is more likely to have issues in the future which require them to reduce staff. From that perspective, the startup is also risky, since most startups fail. – Kat Sep 18 '20 at 16:25
  • @Kat Surely, no company has loyalty to any employee. But a company that has already fired ("furloughed", although serious enough to force OP to find another job, so basically fired) an employee once, has a much bigger red flag than a company who hasn't, which has only the normal-sized non-zero red flag. – Ertai87 Sep 18 '20 at 16:39
  • Being willing to invest in employees could be considered a form of loyalty as well. – Denis G. Labrecque Sep 19 '20 at 14:02
  • @Ertai87 You are making it looking like a love story! Neither the company nor the employee has more responsibility to each other than is written in their contract. The employee must always consider what benefits them. Otherwise, they might stuck in a rank for years and do not seek better options just for being loyal. – MOON Sep 20 '20 at 12:10
  • @MOON Why do we lock criminals in jail? Because we believe that if they have committed a crime once, they are likely to do it again. Same thing here. Company A has fired OP once; they are likely to do it again. OP should take that into consideration. – Ertai87 Sep 20 '20 at 18:16

The bottom line, in software, you make money in one of two ways.

  1. Jumping across the street for an acceptable raise
  2. Stock options that go public

You mention B is a startup, did you get options? You should be clear on when you get your initial and subsequent grants. Stay as long as the economic outlook is good. If you are not getting options you have no loyalty to either company.

You can always tell A, that you are happy with where you are at and if they want you they will have to pay you "big boy money". Assuming you make around 50K (about right for a new software grad) ask for 95K. If they balk at that tell them, okay have a nice day.

Don't sell yourself short while inexperienced, you seem to have the gift, and that is worth real dollars. The experience will come with time and you will do well to work on your project management skills. Once you get those you can command about 120K/year and you could be there in as little as three years. Great engineers can run their projects better then the designated project manager.

If they offer you the 95K then go back to Company B and tell them and say "I like you guys, and want to tell them no, but considering they are doubling my pay....".

As always if you jump from shop to shop, contribute to your 401K, roll out balances into a rollover IRA, and keep debt to a minimum (if not zero). Your older self will thank you and wonder why you did not contribute more and spend less money on junk.


If you're not planning on taking it, then don't mention it to your current company.

However, if you think your current boss will be receptive and won't hold it against you and you're prepared to take the risk, you could do the following:

  1. Turn down the other company.

  2. Go to your boss and say

"Hey, I like it here and I want to stay. I had an unsolicited job offer recently which I've already turned down for that reason.

It was, though, for considerably more than you're currently paying me. So can we have a conversation about bringing my compensation into line with the market rate for my skills and experience".


It's sounds like you want to get a written offer from Company A. Accept that offer if you would like to rejoin them. Then hand in whatever notice is required to Company B in writing so this means an official letter signed by you. Be professional and polite to all involved if you want to find a resignation template I would search for a free one online there are plenty to choose from.

You may receive a counter offer from company B it's up to you if you wish to accept it. This will happen after you hand in your notice letter.

Don't mention anything to Company B until you get the job offer in writing or email from Company A. You should write back to them to confirm you have accepted and that you'll get back to them with a start date unless they have specified in the job offer what they expect your start date to be. If they have stated the start date and it's before your official notice you can still take the job but there may be repercussions. I've found at this point I will often just phone up the company and speak to the hiring manager and try to get a more beneficial date if possible but again be super polite and thankful when asking for this.

In the USA if it's an at will state you can leave without any legal repercussions but you will be burning your bridges with Company A if you just up and leave with no notice. In other countries it is different but unless you are a critical senior manager there is little that a company can do legally if you do not work your full notice. It's not unknown, although highly unlikely, for companies to sue in this case. They need to show what expenses the company had in the difference of your official notice and your actual notice. An example here might help:

You are suppose to give 6 weeks notice but you only give 4 weeks notice and leave. The company can sue you for the difference between what they would have paid you vs what they actually paid in the 2 weeks notice you didn't work. So in this example say you are being paid $10/hour and you work 40 hours per week but you've left two weeks early and they are forced to hire someone at $15/hour. Then the damages you've caused the company are $5/hour over 80 hours e.g. $400. Note that they would have to prove that they actually paid someone the $15/hour in the two weeks you should have been on notice.

The company may also try to sue you for consequential losses but it would be quite difficult to prove this to a court and the majority of companies never pursue this as they will never recover any legal fees. For example an Ontario Court ruled that a group of employees that left on mass and only gave 2 weeks notice caused financial damage as they should have gave 10 months notice. Most companies have clauses in their insurance contracts covering consequential losses. It's rare but not impossible for a company to sue in this case.

There is also the question of non-compete clauses. In your current contract you may have a non-compete clause which says you can't work for companies like Company A. Again the laws differ per country and enforcement is very different so it's hard to tell from your question how this would affect you. Check your contract and local laws for more details.

  • I think you switched the OP's company A and company B. If I understand correctly, he is currently at B. – dan.m was user2321368 Sep 17 '20 at 14:57
  • @dan.mwasuser2321368 oops I'll update – Dave3of5 Sep 17 '20 at 15:09

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